YMMV / Paper Mario 64

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: This game introduced the idea that Bowser has a romantic interest in Princess Peach, a concept that would become a staple of the Paper Mario series. Bowser is also more immature in this game than in previous incarnations, producing the Franchise Original Sin for Bowser's Villain Decay.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • Even though you have eight party members, it is easy to just stick with Goombario most of the time, since he will tell you interesting info about every area and person, reveal the health of enemies, and his basic attack is one point stronger than everyone but Bow. If you equip Quick Change, it is even easier, since you can just retrieve a party member that can defeat an enemy that Goombario cannot, and switch him back afterward.
    • Watt's basic attack ignores enemies' defense, which is really useful against later bosses. She can also attack flying enemies, but does not jump on them, avoiding damage from spiked enemies. In the field, she also reveals hidden item blocks.
    • The only thing nearly anyone ever levels up is the Badge Points stat (BP) to get access to as many badges as possible. An NPC can be paid to relocate the extra 5 HP you start with (you start with 10) to BP so that Mario is permanently in the Danger state and can always reap the rewards of many badges that take effect in this state. These badges do things like increase Mario's attack and defence, and even make enemies miss sometimes, and they stack, so you make Mario able to do tons of damage and take absolutely none, effectively turning on god mode. This is known as the "Danger Mario" build.
  • Demonic Spiders
    • The Anti Guy with its 50 HP and 10 Attack will slaughter any player that doesn't level up extensively through grinding. If you fail the Quiz portion of Bowser's Castle, you'll have to fight three Anti Guys at once. Unless you're cheating, overpowered or stocked up on items specifically for them, you should reset the game and save yourself from a Curb-Stomp Battle.
    • The Dark Koopas are very annoying to fight as well, since they have a move that can put Mario into Dizzy-state, making him completely useless for two turns. The problem here is that, more often than not, you fight against multiple Dark Koopas at the same time, and they all like to use that Dizzyfying move on him, giving him absolutely no chance of recovering from it. If you're out of FP when that happens, you might as well reload from your last saved point.
    • Hammer Bros. in Bowser's Castle. They have a whopping 12 HP, won't flip over like other shelled enemies, and their hammer throws have the possibility of making Mario shrink, cutting his attack power by half. It gets worse when their HP drops below four and can throw a flurry of hammers at him. Their annoyance is even Lampshaded by Goombario.
  • Ear Worm: The Koopa Bros. themes. Both the battle and cutscene themes.
  • Fanon: Star Haven is very commonly believed to be the very same Star Road from Super Mario RPG but with a different name. Furthermore, Geno is is a Star Kid, and the "higher authority" he claims to serve may in fact be the Star Spirits.
  • Game Breaker
    • The Mystery item is a minor one. In battle, it takes the effect of a random item, from a healing Mushroom, to a powerful Thunder Bolt, to a rock that damages Mario. Not so great unless you're in the Random Number God's good graces. Its real value, however, comes from Item Crafting. By giving them over to Tayce T. to cook, you can potentially obtain any craftable item in the game, including ones you're not supposed to get until much later. Most of the time, however, you'll get a Mistake (a Joke Item that only restores 1HP and 1FP apiece), but even that can be utilized by selling them at Boo's Manor for five coins. Conveniently, Boo's Manor sells Mysteries for only 1 coin, giving you a 4 coin profit even in the worst case scenario.
    • A powerful game breaker that carries over into the sequel is Power Bounce. Power Bounce allows Mario to attack an indefinite amount of times (though usually 6-9) using his jump. By itself the attack is merely useful, allowing you to easily do a good 10 damage in a single turn. The real strength of the badge comes through in combination with attack boosters and Jump Charge. Power Bounce's strength increases dramatically with each extra attack point Mario has. Getting all the possible attack boosting badges, Spike Shield, and making use of Jump Charge or Super Jump Charge can let you destroy every single enemy in the game including Bowser or The Master within a few turns. This is made more potent by the fact that it's possible to get Jump Charge by Chapter 2, and both Attack Plus badges during Chapter 4, with All Or Nothing not long afterwards.
    • Money can be easily acquired in absurd amounts early on with the combination of Pay-Off and Money Money. Payoff increases the amount of Money earned in proportion to how much damage you took, while Money Money doubles the amount of coins earned. Combining the two together lets you get hundreds of coins per chapter and potentially even buy out Rowf's badge shop after every chapter. Pay-Off is available almost immediately, and Money Money can be acquired by the start of Chapter 3 with vigorous Star Piece hunting. The only snag is balancing your health out, though even then, a skilled or well-prepared player can heal or conserve damage to counteract the risks.
    • While the cooking Item Crafting system of the game is generally overlooked, it can yield some surprisingly effective healing items for little to no cost. Dry Pasta from Dry Dry Outpost will give you Pasta if cooked by itself, which restores six HP and four FP. For only three coins, this a much more cost efficient healing item than Mushrooms at that point in the game, and really useful on a low HP run if you plan on abusing the aforementioned Danger Mario setup. Similarly, once you can combine two items together, you get access to one of the best healing items in the game: The Bland Meal. It heals ten HP and FP and its ingredients, the Goomnut and Koopa Leaf, can be gotten for no coins what so ever and with little effort thanks to the warp pipes that take you to the areas where they're gotten from being close together once you unlock the sewer area. Also, unlike the Whacka's Bump, the ingredients for this item will never run out. Once you can make this thing, you'll almost never need to spend coins on healing items ever again.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Goddamned Bats: Fuzzies, who absorb Mario's HP with every bite and, in the case of the jungle ones, have to be pulled off with quicktime events. Fortunately, the Zap Tap badge hard-counters them, ensuring that they can't even hurt Mario and take damage whenever they try.
  • Jerkass Woobie: The Boos who terrorized Tubba Blubba before he gained his powers. However, while Bow admits she's not sorry, she promises that they'll leave him alone after Mario defeats him.
  • Memetic Badass: Goompa is the best partner in the game, no doubt.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: It's very easy to get addicted to raising Lil Oinks, especially since they can give out the best healing items in the game.
  • That One Attack: While the Final Boss (Bowser, obviously) isn't overwhelming, he will occasionally use the Star Rod to A) hit both you or your partner (KOing them for three turns) and debuffing both or B) Restore 30 HP.
  • That One Boss: Huff 'n' Puff is widely considered to be one of the most annoying fights in the game due to inflicting a lot of damage and being an Asteroids Monster that can reform himself; the player has to kill the parts of him that break off to do any lasting damage.
  • That One Level: Flower Fields. While not overly hard, it's a level that tends to overstay its welcome for several reasons. Firstly, expect to do a lot of back and forth ping-ponging through its areas carrying items back and forth, and because of the "gating" system for areas, you'll have to sack a few healing items in your very limited inventory in order to get to these areas. On top of that, the area has what is widely considered to be That One Boss, and because of the events of the story, it has a very gloomy and dull atmosphere to it for a greater part of your time there, making the whole area feel like a drag to play through. It's also very long.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Lakilester and Sushie are probably two of the most underused party members due to their rather middle-of-the-road skillsets, particularly for the point that they're acquired in the story, being the last two party members earned. Sushie sees some use in Chapter 5 due to her water skills being effective against the Fire enemies there, and Water Block is a decent defense buff, but she falls out of favor later on due to the difficult action commands her higher-powered attacks require. Lakilester has the unfortunate fate of being badly Overshadowed by Awesome, lacking the attack power to make himself an offensive asset while also having a mediocre defensive skill. Parakarry and Watt both have moves with the same effect as either of his attacks, and Cloud Nine is much less reliable compared to defense boosts, since it relies on the Random Number God being on your side. However, Lakilester can transport Mario faster on the overworld and Cloud Nine stacks with the other evasion boosts on a Danger Mario build
  • What an Idiot: A few times. Bombette and the Bob-Ombs in chapter one are trapped in a cage. Said cage has a cracked wall Bombette can easily destroy. She does this immediately after joining you and claims she just didn't think to do it before. Then of course there's Jr. Troopa, who swims between Toad Town and Lavalava Island to chase Mario, and back again. He forgets that he can fly, making him a much easier opponent.
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